YAY, congratulations! We know it can be overwhelming to plan an entire wedding, especially when you've never done it before. With this guide, hopefully we can take some of the guesswork out of the equation!
Q: So, do we need a wedding photographer?
A: YES. Please don't skimp on this. If we're not the style you're looking for, definitely continue searching, it's worth it! If you do your research and make certain you're hiring the right person for your wedding, you'll never regret the money spent on a wedding photographer. Whether you're getting married at the courthouse, eloping, having a destination wedding, or saying "I do" in your family's backyard, your wedding is special and one-time only; make sure whoever you choose will capture those precious moments.
Q: Who should we hire for our wedding photographer?
A: Well, I recommend us, obviously. (wink) But in all seriousness, shop around! Look at other wedding photographer's styles, their composition, their lighting, their color mood, how they set up poses, if they're good at getting candid shots, and also their experience level. Sometimes if you're on a budget, trying to find a new wedding photographer is tempting. If this is your only option, please schedule an engagement session with them first!
Q: Do you do engagement sessions?
A: We certainly do! AND if you book your wedding with us, the engagement session is included at no additional cost. ;) It's a fun way for us to break the ice with new clients before their actual wedding day!
Q: What questions should we ask our wedding photographer prior to booking?
A: Make sure you know exactly how much you will be paying upfront as a deposit, and how much you'll need to pay later. Most wedding photographers require a deposit in order to ensure booking for your wedding date, it may be 30%-50% of the total contract amount. We require 50% of the total charge in order to book.
Make sure you're aware of any additional costs, such as travel fees, fuel/miles reimbursement, or accommodations. In Wisconsin we are required to charge a sales tax on the photography service, and depending on your preferred payment method, we may charge a credit card transaction fee.
Additionally, make sure you know approximately how many photos you'll be receiving, and make sure there isn't an additional charge per print, as film photographers used to do. The amount of photos our clients receive really does depend on how long of a wedding package they purchase; for example a 4 hour wedding would result of a minimum of 500 images, but a longer wedding would yield more. (For a 10 hour wedding it's possible you'll end with up to 2,000 images.) Make sure you know what form you'll receive the final product, digital download or physical drive. For our clients, we offer both a digital download and a hard drive/thumb drive of the final product.
Q: What should we look for in a venue?
A: Shade is a photographer's best friend! If it's a bright day, it's helpful to have areas that will be out of direct sunlight. If your venue has no trees or shady areas, it may be helpful to consider a nearby alternate location for photos just in case it's not overcast on your wedding day. If you have your heart set on that location and there's no shade, we will make it work! Just keep in mind that the best photos are on an overcast day or in shady areas.
Q: What forms of payment do you accept?
A: We accept credit or debit card, check, cash, or bank transfer. Keep in mind with a credit/debit card there may be a transaction fee.
Q: Do you travel outside of Wisconsin?
A: YES. :) All our wedding packages include travel costs for weddings in Wisconsin. For outside the state, travel expenses will be calculated beforehand and put into the contract. Keep in mind that if there's travel costs, half of the entire contract dollar amount will be due upfront. So, if you've booked with us and travel costs alone come to $500, that means that $250 will be due upfront as well.
Q: Do we need to sign a contract?
A: Absolutely! And I would steer clear of any wedding photographer who does not require signing a wedding photographer contract. The contract legally binds us to the agreed upon dollar amount, the date/time/place for your wedding, and time parameters for us to deliver the final product. And as with any contract, please read it thoroughly! It's important for both of you to understand exactly what you are signing.
Q: What information do you need in order for us to book with you?
A: In order to complete our contract to you, we will need your:
Venue name and address
Bride's first and last name
Groom's first and last name
Bride's phone number, email address, and mailing address
Groom's phone number, email address, and mailing address
Getting ready location(s), if different from venue
Reception location, if applicable
We'll send you a link where you can fill out all your information. :)
Q: What if you CAN'T shoot our wedding due to illness or extenuating circumstances?
A: We generally provide two photographers for your wedding, so this shouldn't happen, but if for some reason after the contract has been signed and the 50% deposit has been paid, and neither of us can shoot your wedding OR provide a backup, we will issue a full refund.
Q: What if something happens and we have to cancel/reschedule our wedding?
A: A good rule of thumb is to have your venue booked before your photographer. If for some reason your venue was no longer available for your original wedding date, and you needed to reschedule us as your wedding photographers, your deposit is non-refundable. Please make sure the appropriate venues are booked ahead of time to ensure that this unfortunate event never happens. :) But we will do our best to work with you on this, and if we're available for your rescheduled date, we'll be there!
Q: Do we need to meet you to sign the contract?
A: Only if you want to! We can email the contract to you and have you digitally sign and initial the contract as required. If you prefer to meet in person, we can absolutely accommodate that as well. We are also available to video call in case you have other questions you wish to ask.
Q: Will you provide a shot list, or do we need to tell you what all we want photographed?
A: We will send you a shot list! Please have it returned to us two weeks prior to your wedding. You can add and subtract to it as you like.
Q: Do we get print rights to all our images?
A: YES. Once we are through editing your photos and we weed out the ones we don't like, you get all the images! They'll be fully edited, high resolution JPEGs, and you are free to print and post on social media as you like. But, and you'll see this mentioned in the wedding contract, you may not use the images for marketing/advertising for a profit. The only person(s) allowed to use them in any sort of advertising is Lollypop Pictures, unless additional permissions are granted.
Q: Can we do a golden hour shoot?
A: We LOVE doing golden hour shoots! However, depending on the location of your wedding and what the skyline is, we may need to relocate to get the full golden hour effect. Keep this in mind when selecting locations, and also when scheduling for the day. The best part of the golden hour window lasts around 10-15 minutes, so if it works to quickly whisk you guys away for a few pictures that is always awesome. Golden hour photos are so magical! Also keep in mind that depending on our start time for your day, it may not fall under the time window. For example, if you book us for 6 hours starting at 10 am for a July wedding, we would miss those golden hours.
Here is a video of us doing a golden hour shoot!
Q: So...we booked you. Now what?
A: Now you're free to continue with all the fun of planning your wedding! We'll make sure everything is taken care of on our end leading up to your big day, and we'll email a payment reminder for the remaining 50% that is due two weeks before your wedding. And let us know if you want to schedule an engagement session - these can be a great way for you to get to know us before your wedding day!
Q: Last question... Anything you need from us on our wedding day?
A: Besides your excitement and smiles, we would love to have quick access to the wedding rings, along with your jewelry, perfume/cologne, a copy of your wedding invitation, ties, shoes, wedding dress, and flowers/bouquets for the detail shots. We normally get started on these right away during the getting ready portion of your day, and it can be helpful to have a designated person available to show us where to find these items.
see you at your wedding! we can't wait 🖤 ~adeline & lucas